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High School Track and Field: Frontier’s Brooks, Lake Shore’s Hornberger two-time champs

McKyla Brooks holds up her multiple awards from the Indoor Track and Field Section VI Championships at Fredonia State. (Photo courtesy of Jim Zubler/Frontier track and field)
The performance of McKyla Brooks at the Section VI Championships make it hard to believe she’s just a sophomore at Frontier. Brooks was so impressive in three individual events she was named the large school MVP at the Section VI Championships on Thursday (Feb. 21) at Fredonia State College.

She was not only crowned the Section VI champion in both the long and triple jumps, but also qualified for the state meet with her third-place performance in the 55-meter dash. She won the long jump with an 18-foot, 9.5-inch effort and took the triple jump in 38-7.5.

This season, she has broken the school record in both the long (19-1) and triple jumps (38-10.75 ), according to her coach, Jim Zubler. She is also the state leader in both jumps. The State Championship meet is Saturday, March 2 at Cornell University.

Whether performing inside or outside, Lake Shore’s TJ Hornberger seems to keep up his winning ways. The junior was a double Section VI champion, winning the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. He staved off a close contender in the 1600 to win in a time of 4:24.87. Mitchell Daddario of Sweet Home was second in 4:25.87. Hornberger outlasted him in the last 50 meters, according to head coach Chuck Kowalski. Hornberger, a three-time Section Class A champion in cross country, also won the 3200 in a personal-best 9:26.54.

Hornberger will next compete in the state meet at Cornell. Also, Calvin Butlak, who is a sophomore distance runner, qualified for the state meet as well. Butlak, who Kowalski said has been making huge gains the entire season, will participate in the 3200.

Also at the Section VI Championships, Hamburg ended the season on a strong but bittersweet note. While many Bulldogs finished with season- or personal-best performances, there were a number of competitors just shy of the sectional awards which went to the first four places which combine both large and small schools.

The 1600-meter relay teams of Christian Kostowniak, Mitch Beiter, Pat Ryan and Aaron Wojnicki and the on the girls side, Hannah Fredriksen, Molly Kabsa, Renee Meinhold, and Meghan Hagerty, ran their best times of the year. The 800m relays followed in a similar fashion with Nick Larson, Tim Dubil, Aric Huber and Liam O’Connor for the boys and the girls team of Sam Ruszczyk, Brooke Dehlinger, Gabby LaRosa, and Lexi Kinsman reaching the finals where they were nosed out of fourth place by .05 second. The 3200 relays of Zach Stumpf, Huber, and Jake and Aaron Wojnicki for the boys, and Fredriksen, Larosa, Kabsa and Kinsman for the girls also recorded season bests.

Individually, Jake Wojnicki and Stumpf each took sixth in the 3200 and 1600 meters, respectively. Kyle Brown recorded a personal best in the shot put and reached the finals where he also finished sixth. Tim Dubil had a strong showing in the finals of the 600. For the girls, Ruszczyk was fifth in the 600 and missed the hurdle finals by .02 seconds. Fredriksen was eighth in the 1500 and Cassie Taber sixth in the racewalk. Hagerty equaled her personal best in the pole vault. The Bulldogs’ Austin White who had already qualified for the state meet in the pole vault, missed the competition and will miss the state meet due to injury.

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